Imperial Raider Preview

FFG released some more info on the Imperial Raider this week. For anyone that doesn’t know, the Raider is the Imperial Huge ship that is upcoming, essentially created to be a counterpart to the Rebel Corvette. Here’s the LINK to their preview article, which I’ll be discussing just a second hold your horses I gotta finish reading there article before I write any of my own crap here!

So this whole article I’m going to be comparing to the Rebel Corvette because it’s a really natural comparison point, so be prepared. The Raider comes in at the same Pilot Skill as the Corvette, but costs 10 points more. The Raider has this funky shift going on, where on the Corvette it was really obvious that one section was your “powerhouse” and the other was your offense, but the Raider has that all mixed up. What do I mean? Well, let me tell you! The defensive actions are on the Fore, but so is the primary weapon. The aft is the section that generates the power, but is also the section that has the more offensive actions. At the same time, the upgrade slots are flipped, in that the aft has the large majority of the upgrade slots, compared to on the Corvette where they were mostly on the fore. The Raider’s aft is, like the Corvette’s, its weaker section, which makes that a much more enticing target.

Corvette and Raider both have the same slots for hardpoints, crew, teams, and cargo, just that the Raider has it a little more concentrated than the Corvette. Their hull values are the same, but the Raider has 1 more shield point on both the Fore and the Aft, which may be a big part of the increased point cost. The Raider also is able to hold 1 more energy than the Corvette. Their primary weapon values are the same, but the Corvette’s is a 360 arc. However, the Corvette wasn’t able to attack anything through its aft section anyway, and with the Raider’s weird firing arc on the Fore, the blind spot is going to be pretty reasonably small, so I don’t consider that a detriment.

The primary weapon is range 2-4 compared to the Corvette’s 3-5, and personally I think that’s a lot better. Bear in mind, I haven’t played with the Corvette since the Huge ship primary weapon rules got changed (opponents now receive a single bonus agility die for range 3-5, as opposed to the previous rule where they received 1 bonus agility die for every range band beyond range 2, so up to 3 extras). So I’m not sure that the Corvette’s primary is quite so useless at Range 5 as it used to be, but being able to shoot at enemies within range 2 with that primary is a very big deal. On the Corvette if they get that close, you’re spending energy to fire Quad lasers, and your free primary weapon is useless.

I’m also partial to the spend-to-fire-again ability (2 energy for a second attack), as opposed to the Corvette’s spend 1 energy to add 1 attack die ability. I know that the second attack gets another round of defense dice thrown, but it’s so many more red dice on the table and the uselessness of green dice in general is well documented, so I feel like having the 1 extra die compared to throwing 4 extra dice isn’t that worthwhile. I suppose it’s like using Cluster Missiles over Concussion Missiles. Well there’s a couple more variation points between those two, but I guess the comparison is close enough. I suppose it’s pretty situational which one is better, and neither is bad, but it’ll be interesting to see if the Raider’s ability comes in a whole lot more handy just purely based on how much longer it will get to fire at enemies because it reaches back to range 2.

In the article, they show us the maneuver dial showing a 2 bank generating 2 energy, which is the same as the Corvette, but then they explicitly state that a 4 straight also generates 2 energy. I’m hoping that’s a typo. The Corvette only generates 1 at that speed, so we could be looking at a ship that is a fair bit better at generating energy than the Corvette, which will make it a whole lot better. Bear in mind, the Corvette’s max generation is 3, with the 1 banks and the 2 straight. The Corvette follows a linear progression of energy generation to speed and bearing, so if the Raider is the same way it could be generating 4 energy on a 2 straight. Heck, if they give it a 1 straight it may even be generating 5 energy per turn. That’s nuts, so I’m hoping that’s not the case because this ship will be very quickly shown to be superior to the Corvette, and that’ll just mean the Rebels go back to massed fighter tactics in Epic games. That’s kind of the whole reason for releasing this ship, isn’t it? So that the Imperials and Rebels can have Huge ships and not just one side with a whole mob of fighters?

https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/80/cd/80cde374-ef52-49e9-8b9e-d2e1aef3c383/ion-cannon-battery.png

As far as I can tell, this is the only new Hardpoint coming with the expansion. I see 2 Single Turbolasers and 2 Quad lasers, and it looks like 4 of these, so there’ll be plenty to spread around to your Corvette if you so desire. It’s great that we’re getting an Ion hardpoint. This weapon is 2 points cheaper than the Single Turbolaser and doesn’t give the enemy any agility bonuses, but also doesn’t have that built-in focus-light. The range is pulled in the same way the primary weapon is (2-4 compared to 3-5), and it costs the same to do the attack. 4 attack dice means you’re a lot more likely to get your hit through than a standard fighter-mounted ion cannon with only 3 dice. Also this one causes the opponent to suffer a critical damage, which is pretty freaking cool. It’s a capital ship ion cannon, of course that’s going to do very bad things to starfighters. Interestingly it is just a single Ion token, so you’re not going to be ioning a Falcon in one shot. But I seem to remember ion tokens reducing a Huge ship’s ability to generate energy, so that could be overpowered anyway. Regardless, good addition.

The last couple cards they talked about were these three fine gentlemen. Tarkin is cool because he isn’t an action. Just every round, deny a focus to one enemy or give one to one of your guys. He’s going to make firing ordnance a lot better of an experience, and for that matter make firing it a lot more difficult. There will be no shooting Proton Rockets with Tarkin around! Unless you have multiple ships ready to fire, then yeah of course. He’s super expensive at 6 points, but honestly I think he may be worth it. Needa is the captain of the Star Destroyer that Han latches the Falcon to right before they go to Bespin. I don’t quite see the connection between his character and his pilot ability, but whatever. He makes flying through obstacles significantly easier. It becomes a “maybe” thing, but it also for sure means that you’re not taking a crit, just a regular damage. So that’s a pretty big deal. Ozzel I don’t find particularly inspiring. I haven’t played all that many Epic games, but never have I ever found myself wishing I could sacrifice my shields to get a little more energy. Shields are the number one thing I want my energy for! I’d rather stay alive than fire any extra weapons! Maybe he could come in handy if you’re doing a Hail Mary where you want to fire off all your weapons in hopes of destroying his last ship before time runs out or something, but even still I don’t see Ozzel coming in handy more than once a battle, if ever.

Well those are all my thoughts on the Raider for now. I’m really excited for this ship to hit so we can have some great Epic matches. And of course for the TIE Advanced fixes, but mostly for the Epic matches.

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